April 28, 2017 10:45 a.m.
On Friday, four members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation introduced the Community Protection and Preparedness Act.
A joint press release says the legislation creates a new trust fund to help communities prepare for accidents involving rail cars transporting flammable liquids, including crude oil and ethanol. The bill was sponsored by Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Congressman Peter DeFazio and was co-sponsored by Representatives Greg Walden, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici.
The release says the trust fund created would be used for emergency response and cleanup after rail accidents that involve flammable liquids. The fund would also be used to issue grants to help prepare and protect communities that are along rail lines. In addition, it would require the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to issue a final rule on oil spill response plans and information sharing for high-hazard flammable trains. It also authorizes funding for the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration to hire additional track safety specialists and instructs the Secretary of Transportation to study the effectiveness of track inspections.
The bill comes on the heels of a fiery train derailment in Mosier last year.